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Zillow: 75% of Recent Home Buyers Have Regrets About Their New Home
A less frenzied spring market could ease buyers' remorse by giving shoppers more time to weigh their options.
Purchasing a home in a rapidly appreciating and hyper-competitive housing market can feel like winning the lottery. But a new Zillow survey finds even those who are successful often make compromises and can suffer from buyer's remorse. Current and aspiring home shoppers can learn from the misgivings of these pandemic-era buyers with help from new technology and a housing market that could offer buyers a bit more breathing room.
Zillow's survey finds three-quarters of those who successfully purchased a home in the past two years say they have at least one regret about the home they bought (75%). About a third of new buyers regret buying a home that needs more work or maintenance than expected (32%). A similar share regret buying a home that is too small (31%).
A checklist can help home shoppers establish their needs versus their wants. When shopping with a partner, the right home needs to meet the needs of both people to avoid regrets and resentment. On the Zillow app, buyers can add a shopping partner to share listings and use SharePlay to make collaborative shopping easier.
Most successful buyers (74%) wish they had done at least one thing differently during the process, with 38% wishing they had spent more time searching for a home or weighing their options. About a quarter would have shopped for and purchased a home in a different area (28%).
A vast majority of successful buyers say they had to make at least one compromise in order to afford their home (81%). Nearly two in five say they ended up in a location that increased their commute time (39%), while 32% purchased a home that was smaller than they initially planned.
New tech tools are making it easier for home buyers to get a true understanding of a home before touring it in person. Interactive floor plans and virtual 3D home tours can give buyers a more accurate sense of the spatial relationship between rooms in a home so they can winnow down their options without leaving their sofa. Shoppers can also take advantage of Zillow's travel time function, walk scores and transit scores featured on all for-sale listings to help choose a location they'll love .
Pandemic-era buyers faced unprecedented conditions. They had far fewer homes to choose from and far more competition for the homes that were listed for sale. Inventory fell to a new low -- down more than 40% compared to pre-pandemic levels, while home values surged nearly 20% in 2021.
Today's buyers face similar challenges but in a calmer market, they should have more time to assess their options. In June of 2021, the typical U.S. home flew off the market in just one week. That time frame has risen every month since, to roughly 13 days in December 2021.